Containing the interval of about three years.
From the taking of Jerusalem by Titus, to the sedition at Cyrene.
How the entire city of Jerusalem was demolished, excepting three towers. And how Titus commended his soldiers in a speech made to them; and distributed rewards to them; and then dismissed many of them.
1. Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay, or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury: (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done:) Cæsar gave orders that they should now demolish the intire city, and temple: but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency, that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne: and so much of the wall as inclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison: as were the towers also spared in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valour had subdued. But for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground, by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to, by the madness of those that were for innovations. A city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.
2. But Cæsar resolved to leave there, as a guard, the tenth legion: with certain troops of horsemen, and companies of footmen. So, having intirely compleated this war, he was desirous to commend his whole army, on account of the great exploits they had performed; and to bestow proper rewards on such as had signalized themselves therein. He had therefore a great tribunal made for him in the midst of the place where he had formerly encamped, and stood upon it with his principal commanders about him; and spake so as to be heard by the whole arrmy in the manner following: “That he returned them abundance of thanks for their good will, which they had shewed to him. He commended them for that ready obedience they had exhibited in this whole war: which obedience had appeared in the many and great dangers which they had courageously undergone; as also for that courage they had shewed, and had thereby augmented of themselves their country’s power; and had made it evident to all men, that neither the multitude of their enemies, nor the strength of their places, nor the largeness of their cities, nor the rash boldness and brutish rage of their antagonists were sufficient at any time to get clear of the Roman valour; although some of them may have fortune in many respects on their side. He said farther, that it was but reasonable for them to put an end to this war, now it had lasted so long: for that they had nothing better to wish for when they entred into it. And that this happened more favourably for them, and more for their glory, that all the Romans had willingly accepted of those for their governours, and the curators of their dominions, whom they had chosen for them, and had sent into their own country for that purpose; which still continued under the management of those whom they had pitched on, and were thankful to them for pitching upon them. That accordingly, although he did both admire, and tenderly regard them all, because he knew that every one of them had gone as chearfully about their work, as their abilities and opportunities would give them leave; yet he said, that he would immediately bestow rewards and dignities on those that had fought the most bravely, and with greater force, and had signalized their conduct in the most glorious manner, and had made his army more famous by their noble exploits: and that no one who had been willing to take more pains than another, should miss of a just retribution for the same. For that he had been exceeding careful about this matter: and that the more, because he had much rather reward the virtues of his fellow soldiers, than punish such as had offended.”
3. Hereupon Titus ordered those, whose business it was, to read the list of all that had performed great exploits in this war. Whom he called to him by their names, and commended them before the company; and rejoiced in them in the same manner as a man would have rejoiced in his own exploits. He also put on their heads crowns of gold, and golden ornaments about their necks, and gave them long spears of gold, and ensigns that were made of silver, and removed every one of them to an higher rank. And besides this, he plentifully distributed among them, out of the spoils, and the other prey they had taken, silver, and gold, and garments. So when they had all these honours bestowed on them, according to his own appointment made to every one, and he had wished all sorts of happiness to the whole army, he came down, among the great acclamations which were made to him: and then betook himself to offer thank-
How Titus exhibited all sorts of shews at Cesarea Philippi. Concerning Simon the tyrant, how he was taken, and reserved for the triumph.
1. Now at the same time that Titus Cæsar lay at the siege of Jerusalem, did Vespasian go on board a merchant ship, and sailed from Alexandria to Rhodes. Whence he sailed away in ships with three rows of oars; and as he touched at several cities that lay in his road, he was joyfully received by them all; and so passed over from Ionia into Greece. Whence he set sail from Corcyra, to the promontory of Iapyx: whence he took his journey by land. But as for Titus, he marched from that Cesarea which lay by the sea side, and came to that which is named Cesarea Philippi, and stayed there a considerable time, and exhibited all sorts of shews there. And here a great number of the captives were destroyed: some being thrown to wild beasts; and others in multitudes forced to kill one another, as if they were their enemies. And here it was that Titus was informed of the seizure of Simon, the son of Gioras: which was made after the manner following. This Simon, during the siege of Jerusalem, was in the upper city.2 But when the Roman army was gotten within the walls, and were laying the city waste, he then took the most faithful of his friends with him: and among them some that were stone-
How Titus, upon the celebration of his brothers and fathers birth days, had many of the Jews slain. Concerning the danger the Jews were in at Antioch, by means of the transgression and impiety of one Antiochus a Jew.
1. While Titus was at Cesarea, he solemnized the birthday of his brother [Domitian], (2) after a splendid manner: and inflicted a great deal of the punishment intended for the Jews in honor of him. For the number of those that were now slain in fighting with the beasts, and were burnt, and fought with one another, exceeded two thousand five hundred. Yet did all this seem to the Romans, when they were thus destroyed ten thousand several ways, to be a punishment beneath their deserts. After this Cæsar came to Berytus, (3) which is a city of Phenicia, and a Roman colony; and stayed there a longer time, and exhibited a still more pompous solemnity about his father’s birth-
2. It happened also about this time, that the Jews who remained at Antioch were under accusations, and in danger of perishing, from the disturbances that were raised against them by the Antiochians; and this both on account of the slanders spread abroad at this time against them; and on account of what pranks they had played not long before: which I am obliged to describe without fail, though briefly: that I may the better connect my narration of future actions, with those that went before.
3. For as the Jewish nation is widely dispersed over all the habitable earth, among its inhabitants; so is it very much intermingled with Syria, by reason of its neighbourhood; and had the greatest multitudes in Antioch, by reason of the largeness of the city: wherein the Kings, after Antiochus, had afforded them an habitation, with the most undisturbed tranquillity. For though Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, laid Jerusalem waste, and spoiled the temple; yet did those that succeeded him in the Kingdom restore all the donations that were made of brass to the Jews of Antioch, and dedicated them to their synagogue, and granted them the enjoyment of equal privileges of citizens with the Greeks themselves. And as the succeeding Kings treated them after the same manner, they both multiplied to a great number, and adorned their temple4 gloriously by fine ornaments, and with great magnificence, in the use of what had been given them. They also made proselytes of a great many of the Greeks perpetually; and thereby, after a sort, brought them to be a portion of their own body. But about this time when the present war began, and Vespasian was newly sailed to Syria, and all men had taken up a great hatred against the Jews; then it was that a certain person, whose name was Antiochus, being one of the Jewish nation, and greatly respected on account of his father, who was governor of the Jews at Antioch, (5) came upon the theatre at a time when the people of Antioch were assembled together; and became an informer against his father, and accused both him and others, that they had resolved to burn the whole city in one night: he also delivered up to them some Jews that were foreigners, as partners in their resolutions. When the people heard this, they could not refrain their passion, but commanded that those who were delivered up to them should have fire brought to burn them: who were accordingly all burnt upon the theatre immediately. They did also fall violently upon the multitude of the Jews; as supposing that by punishing them suddenly they should save their own city. As for Antiochus, he aggravated the rage they were in; and thought to give them a demonstration of his own conversion, and of his hatred of the Jewish customs, by sacrificing after the manner of the Greeks. He persuaded the rest also to compel them to do the same; because they would by that means discover who they were that had plotted against them; since they would not do so. And when the people of Antioch tried the experiment, some few complied: but those that would not do so were slain. As for Ailtiochus himself, he obtained soldiers from the Roman commander, and became a severe master over his own citizens. Not permitting them to rest on the seventh day; but forcing them to do all that they usually did on other days. And to that degree of distress did he reduce them in this matter, that the rest of the seventh day was dissolved, not only at Antioch; but the same thing, which took thence its rise, was done in other cities also in like manner, for some small time.
4. Now after these misfortunes had happened to the Jews at Antioch a second calamity befel them; the description of which when we were going about we premised the account foregoing. For upon this accident, whereby the four-
How Vespasian was received at Rome. As also how the Germans revolted from the Romans; but were subdued. That the Sarmatians over-
1. And now Titus Cæsar, upon the news that was brought him concerning his father, that his coming was much desired by all the Italian cities; and that Rome especially received him with great alacrity and splendor, betook himself to rejoicing and pleasures, to a great degree; as now freed from the sollicitude he had been under, after the most agreeable manner. For all men that were in Italy shewed their respects to him in their minds, before he came thither; as if he were already come: as esteeming the very expectation they had of him to be his real presence, on account of the great desires they had to see him; and because the good will they bore him was intirely free and unconstrained. For it was a desirable thing to the senate, who well remembered the calamities they had undergone in the late changes of their governors, to receive a governor who was adorned with the gravity of old age, and with the highest skill in the actions of war, whose advancement would be, as they knew, for nothing else but for the preservation of those that were to be governed. Moreover, the people had been so harassed by their civil miseries, that they were still more earnest for his coming immediately: as supposing they should then be firmly delivered from their calamities, and believed they should then recover their secure tranquillity and prosperity. And for the soldiery, they had the principal regard to him; for they were chiefly apprized of his great exploits in war. And since they had experienced the want of skill, and want of courage in other commanders, they were very desirous to be freed from that great shame they had undergone by their means; and heartily wished to receive such a prince, as might be a security and an ornament to them. And as this good will to Vespasian was universal, those that enjoyed any remarkable dignities could not have patience enough to stay in Rome, but made haste to meet him at a very great distance from it. Nay indeed, none of the rest could endure the delay of seeing him; but did all pour out of the city in such crowds, and were so universally possessed with the opinion that it was easier and better for them to go out than to stay there, that this was the very first time that the city joyfully perceived itself almost empty of its citizens. For those that stayed within were fewer than those that went out. But as soon as the news was come that he was hard by, and those that had met him at first related with what good humour he received every one that came to him; then it was that the whole multitude that had remained in the city, with their wives and children, came into the road, and waited for him there. And for those whom he passed by they made all sorts of acclamations, on account of the joy they had to see him, and the pleasantness of his countenance; and styled him their benefactor, and saviour; and the only person who was worthy to be ruler of the city of Rome. And now the city was like a temple, full of garlands, and sweet odors. Nor was it easy for him to come to the royal palace, for the multitude of the people that stood about him, where yet at last he performed his sacrifices of thanksgiving to his household gods, for his safe return to the city. The multitude did also betake themselves to feasting. Which feasts, and drink-
2. But before this time, and while Vespasian was about Alexandria, and Titus was lying at the siege of Jerusalem, a great multitude of the Germans were in commotion, and tended to rebellion. And as the Gauls in their neighbourhood joined with them, they conspired together, and had thereby great hopes of success, and that they should free themselves from the dominion of the Romans. The motives that induced the Germans to this attempt for a revolt, and for beginning the war were these: In the first place the nature [of the people], which was destitute of just reasonings, and ready to throw themselves rashly into danger upon small hopes. In the next place the hatred they bore to those that were their governors: while their nation had never been conscious of subjection to any, but to the Romans; and that by compulsion also. Besides these motives, it was the opportunity that now offered itself, which above all the rest prevailed with them so to do. For when they saw the Roman government in a great internal disorder, by the continual changes of its rulers; and understood that every part of the habitable earth under them was in an unsettled and tottering condition, they thought this was the best opportunity that could afford it self for themselves to make a sedition, when the state of the Romans was so ill. Classicus (7) also, and Vitellius,5 two of their commanders, puffed them up with such hopes. These had, for a long time, been openly desirous of such an innovation; and were induced by the present opportunity to venture upon the declaration of their sentiments. The multitude was also ready; and when these men told them of what they intended to attempt, that news was gladly received by them. So when a great part of the Germans had agreed to rebel; and the rest were no better disposed; Vespasian, as guided by divine providence, sent letters to Petilius Cerealis, who had formerly had the command of Germany: whereby he declared him to have the dignity of consul, and commanded him to take upon him the government of Britain; so he went whither he was ordered to go: and when he was informed of the revolt of the Germans, he fell upon them, as soon as they were gotten together, and put his army in battle array, and slew a great multitude of them in the fight, and forced them to leave off their madness, and to grow wiser. Nay had he not fallen thus suddenly upon them on the place, it had not been long ere they would however have been brought to punishment. For assoon as ever the news of their revolt was come to Rome, and Cæsar Domitian was made acquainted with it, he made no delay, even at that his age, when he was exceeding young; but undertook this weighty affair. He had a courageous mind from his father, and had made greater improvements than belonged to such an age. Accordingly he marched against the barbarians immediately. Whereupon their hearts failed them at the very rumour of his approach: and they submitted themselves to him with fear; and thought it an happy thing that they were brought under their old yoke again without suffering any farther mischiefs. When therefore Domitian had settled all the affairs of Gall in such good order, that it would not be easily put into disorder any more, he returned to Rome, with honour and glory: as having performed such exploits as were above his own age, but worthy of so great a father.
3. At the very same time with the forementioned revolt of the Germans did the bold attempt of the Scythians against the Romans occur. For those Scythians who are called Sarmatians, being a very numerous people, transported themselves over the Danube into Mysia; without being perceived. After which, by their violence, and intirely unexpected assault, they slew a great many of the Romans that guarded the frontiers: and as the consular legate Fonteius Agrippa came to meet them, and fought courageously against them, he was slain by them. They then over-
Concerning the sabbatick river, which Titus saw, as he was journeying through Syria. And how the people of Antioch came with a petition to Titus against the Jews, but were rejected by him. As also concerning Titus’s and Vespasian’s triumph.
1. Now Titus Cæsar tarried some time at Berytus, as we told you before. He thence removed, and exhibited magnificent shews in all those cities of Syria through which he went; and made use of the captive Jews as publick instances of the destruction of that nation. He then saw a river, as he went along, of such a nature as deserves to be recorded in history. It runs in the middle between Arcea, belonging to Agrippa’s Kingdom, and Raphanea. It hath somewhat very peculiar in it. For when it runs, its current is strong, and has plenty of water. After which its springs fail for six days together, and leave its chanel dry, as any one may see. After which days it runs on the seventh day as it did before, and as though it had undergone no change at all: it hath also been observed to keep this order perpetually, and exactly. Whence it is that they call it the sabbatick river: (8) that name being taken from the sacred seventh day among the Jews.
2. But when the people of Antioch were informed that Titus was approaching, they were so glad at it, that they could not keep within their walls; but hasted away to give him the meeting: nay they proceeded as far as thirty furlongs, and more, with that intention. These were not the men only, but a multitude of women also, with their children did the same. And when they saw him coming up to them, they stood on both sides of the way, and stretched out their right hands, saluting him, and making all sorts of acclamations to him, and turned back together with him. They also among all the acclamations they made to him, besought him all the way they went to eject the Jews out of their city. Yet did not Titus at all yield to this their petition; but gave them the bare hearing of it quietly. However, the Jews were in a great deal of terrible fear, under the uncertainty they were in, what his opinion was, and what he would do to them. For Titus did not stay at Antioch; but continued his progress immediately to Zeugma, which lies upon the Euphrates; whither came to him messengers from Vologeses King of Parthia, and brought him a crown of gold, upon the victory he had gained over the Jews. Which he accepted of, and feasted the King’s messengers, and then came back to Antioch. And when the senate and people of Antioch earnestly entreated him to come upon their theatre, where their whole multitude was assembled, and expected him; he complied with great humanity. But when they pressed him, with much earnestness, and continually begged of him, that he would eject the Jews out of their city, he gave them this very pertinent answer: “How can this be done? since that country of theirs, whither the Jews must be obliged then to retire, is destroyed, and no place will receive them besides.” Whereupon the people of Antioch, when they had failed of success in this their first request, made him a second. For they desired that he would order those tables of brass to be removed, on which the Jews privileges were engraven. However Titus would not grant that neither: but permitted the Jews of Antioch to continue to enjoy the very same privileges in that city which they had before: and then departed for Egypt. And as he came to Jerusalem in his progress, and compared the melancholy condition he saw it then in, with the ancient glory of the city; and called to mind the greatness of its present ruins, as well as its ancient splendor, he could not but pity the destruction of the city: so far was he from boasting, that so great and goodly a city as that was, had been by him taken by force. Nay he frequently cursed those that had been the authors of their revolt; and had brought such a punishment upon the city. Insomuch that it openly appeared that he did not desire that such a calamity as this punishment of theirs amounted to, should be a demonstration of his courage. Yet was there no small quantity of the riches that had been in that city still found among its ruins: a great deal of which the Romans dug up: but the greatest part was discovered by those who were captives, and so they carried it away. I mean the gold, and the silver, and the rest of that most precious furniture which the Jews had, and which the owners had treasured up under ground, against the uncertain fortunes of war.
3. So Titus took the journey he intended to Egypt; and passed over the desert very suddenly, and came to Alexandria, and took up a resolution to go to Rome by sea. And as he was accompanied by two legions, he sent each of them again to the places whence they had before come. The fifth he sent to Mysia: and the fifteenth to Pannonia. As for the leaders of the captives, Simon and John, with the other seven hundred men, whom he had selected out of the rest, as being eminently tall, and handsome of body, he gave order that they should be soon carried to Italy: as resolving to produce them in his triumph. So when he had had a prosperous voyage, to his mind, the city of Rome behaved itself in his reception, and their meeting him at a distance, as it did in the case of his father. But what made the most splendid appearance in Titus’s opinion was, when his father met him, and received him. But still the multitude of the citizens conceived the greatest joy, when they saw them all three together,6 as they did at this time. Nor were many days overpast, when they determined to have but one triumph that should be common to both of them,7 on account of the glorious exploits they had performed. Although the senate had decreed each of them a separate triumph by himself. So when notice had been given beforehand of the day appointed for this pompous solemnity to be made, on account of their victories, not one of the immense multitude was left in the city; but every body went out so far as to gain only a station where they might stand; and left only such a passage as was necessary for those that were to be seen to go along it.
4. Now all the soldiery marched out beforehand by companies, and in their several ranks, under their several commanders, in the night time: and were about the gates, not of the upper palaces, but those near the temple of Isis. For there it was that the Emperors had rested the foregoing night. And as soon as ever it was day, Vespasian and Titus came out, crowned with laurel; and clothed in those ancient purple habits which were proper to their family: and then went as far as Octavian’s walks. For there it was that the senate, and the principal rulers, and those that had been recorded as of the equestrian order, waited for them. Now a tribunal had been erected before the cloisters, and ivory chairs had been set upon it. When they came and sat down upon them. Whereupon the soldiery made an acclamation of joy to them immediately; and all gave them attestations of their valour. While they were themselves without their arms, and only in their silk garments, and crowned with laurel. Then Vespasian accepted of these shouts of theirs. But while they were still disposed to go on in such acclamations, he gave them a signal of silence. And when every body intirely held their peace, he stood up; and covering the greatest part of his head with his cloak, he put up the accustomed solemn prayers. The like prayers did Titus put up also. After which prayers Vespasian made a short speech to all the people; and then sent away the soldiers to a dinner prepared for them by the Emperors. Then did he retire to that gate which was called the gate of the pomp; because pompous shews do always go through that gate. There it was that they tasted some food: and when they had put on their triumphal garments, and had offered sacrifices to the gods that were placed at the gate, they sent the triumph forward, and marched through the theatres; that they might be the more easily seen by the multitudes.
5. Now it is impossible to describe the multitude of the shews as they deserve; and the magnificence of them all: such indeed as a man could not easily think of, as performed either by the labour of workmen, or the variety of riches, or the rarities of nature. For almost all such curiosities as the most happy men ever get by piece meal, were here one heaped on another; and those both admirable, and costly in their nature: and as all brought together on that day, demonstrated the vastness of the dominions of the Romans. For there was here to be seen a mighty quantity of silver, and gold, and ivory, contrived into all sorts of things: and did not appear as carried along in pompous shew only, but, as a man may say, running along like a river. Some parts were composed of the rarest purple hangings, and so carried along: and others accurately represented to the life what was embroidered by the art of the Babylonians. There were also precious stones that were transparent, some set in crowns of gold, and some in other ouches, as the workmen pleased. And of these such a vast number were brought, that we could not but thence learn how vainly we imagined any of them to be rarities. The images of the gods were also carried, being as well wonderful for their largeness, as made very artificially, and with great skill of the workmen. Nor were any of these images of any other than very costly materials. And many species of animals were brought, every one in their own natural ornaments. The men also who brought every one of these shews were great multitudes, and adorned with purple garments, all over interwoven with gold. Those that were chosen for carrying these pompous shews having also about them such magnificent ornaments, as were both extraordinary, and surprizing. Besides these, one might see that even the great number of the captives was not unadorned. While the variety that was in their garments, and their fine texture, concealed from the sight the deformity of their bodies. But what afforded the greatest surprize of all was the structure of the pageants that were borne along. For indeed he that met them could not but be afraid that the bearers would not be able firmly enough to support them; such was their magnitude. For many of them were so made, that they were on three or even four stories one above another. The magnificence also of their structure afforded one both pleasure, and surprize. For upon many of them were laid carpets of gold. There was also wrought gold, and ivory, fastened about them all. And many resemblances of the war, and those in several ways, and variety of contrivances, affording a most lively portraiture of it self. For there was to be seen an happy country laid waste; and intire squadrons of enemies slain; while some of them ran away, and some were carried into captivity: with walls of great altitude, and magnitude overthrown, and ruined by machines; with the strongest fortifications taken; and the walls of most populous cities upon the tops of hills seized on; and an army pouring it self within the walls: as also every place full of slaughter; and supplications of the enemies, when they were no longer able to lift up their hands in way of opposition. Fire also sent upon temples was here represented; and houses overthrown, and falling upon their owners: rivers also, after they came out of a large and melancholy desert, ran down, not into a land cultivated, nor as drink for men, or for cattle, but through a land still on fire upon every side. For the Jews related that such a thing they had undergone during this war. Now the workmanship of these representations was so magnificent and lively, in the construction of the things, that it exhibited what had been done to such as did not see it, as if they had been there really present. On the top of every one of these pageants was placed the commander of the city that was taken; and the manner wherein he was taken. Moreover there followed those pageants a great number of ships. And for the other spoils they were carried in great plenty. But for those that were taken in the temple of Jerusalem, (9) they made the greatest figure of them all. That is the golden table, of the weight of many talents. The candlestick also, that was made of gold; though its construction were now changed from that which we made use of. For its middle shaft was fixed upon a basis, and the small branches were produced out of it to a great length: having the likeness of a trident in their position, and had every one a socket made of brass for a lamp at the tops of them. These lamps were in number seven; and represented the dignity of the number seven among the Jews. And the last of all the spoils was carried the law of the Jews. After these spoils passed by a great many men, carrying the images of victory: whose structure was intirely either of ivory, or of gold. After which Vespasian marched in the first place: and Titus followed him. Domitian also rode along with them; and made a glorious appearance, and rode on an horse that was worthy of admiration.
6. Now the last part of this pompous shew was at the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus; whither when they were come, they stood still. For it was the Romans ancient custom to stay till some body brought the news, that the general of the enemy was slain. This general was Simon, the son of Gioras: who had then been led in this triumph among the captives. A rope had also been put upon his head; and he had been drawn into a proper place in the forum; and had withal been tormented by those that drew him along. And the law of the Romans required, that malefactors condemned to die, should be slain there. Accordingly when it was related that there was an end of him, and all the people had set up a shout for joy, they then began to offer those sacrifices which they had consecrated, in the prayers used in such solemnities. Which when they had finished, they went away to the palace. And as for some of the spectators, the Emperors entertained them at their own feast: and for all the rest there were noble preparations made for feasting at home. For this was a festival day to the city of Rome: as celebrated for the victory obtained by their army over their enemies; for the end that was now put to their civil miseries; and for the commencement of their hopes of future prosperity and happiness.
7. After these triumphs were over, and after the affairs of the Romans were settled on the surest foundations, Vespasian resolved to build a temple to Peace. Which was finished in so short a time, and so glorious a manner, as was beyond all human expectation and opinion. For he having now by providence a vast quantity of wealth; besides what he had formerly gained in his other exploits; he had this temple adorned with pictures and statues; for in this temple were collected and deposited all such rarities as men aforetime used to wander all over the habitable world to see, when they had a desire to see one of them after another; he also laid up therein those golden vessels and instruments that were taken out of the Jewish temple, as ensigns of his glory. But still he gave order that they should lay up their law, and the purple veils of the holy place, in the royal palace it self; and keep them there.
Concerning Macherus; and how Lucilius Bassus took that citadel, and other places.
1. Now Lucilius Bassus8 was sent as legate into Judea: and there he received the army from Cerealis Vitellianus; and took that citadel which was in Herodium, together with the garrison that was in it. After which he got together all the soldiery that was there, (which was a large body; but dispersed into several parties:) with the tenth legion, and resolved to make war upon Macherus. For it was highly necessary that this citadel should be demolished; lest it might be a means of drawing away many into a rebellion, by reason of its strength. For the nature of the place was very capable of affording the surest hopes of safety to those that possessed it; as well as delay and fear to those that should attack it. For what was walled in was itself a very rocky hill, elevated to a very great height: which circumstance alone made it very hard to he subdued. It was also so contrived by nature, that it could not be easily ascended. For it is, as it were, ditched about with such valleys on all sides, and to such a depth, that the eye cannot reach their bottoms; and such as are not easily to be passed over; and even such as it is impossible to fill up with earth. For that valley which cuts it on the west, extends to threescore furlongs, and did not end till it came to the lake Asphaltitis. On the same side it was also that Macherus had the tallest top of its hill elevated above the rest. But then for the valleys that lay on the north and south sides, although they be not so large as that already described, yet it is in like manner an impracticable thing to think of getting over them. And for the valley that lies on the east side, its depth is found to be no less than an hundred cubits. It extends as far as a mountain that lies over-
2. Now when Alexander [Janneus], the King of the Jews observed the nature of this place, he was the first who built a citadel here: which afterwards was demolished by Gabinius, when he made war against Aristobulus.9 But when Herod came to be King, he thought the place to be worthy of the utmost regard, and of being built upon in the firmest manner; and this especially, because it lay so near to Arabia. For it is seated in a convenient place on that account; and hath a prospect toward that country. He therefore surrounded a large space of ground with walls, and towers; and built a city there. Out of which city there was a way that led up to the very citadel it self, on the top of the mountain. Nay more than this, he built a wall round that top of the hill; and erected towers at the corners, of an hundred and sixty cubits high. In the middle of which place he built a palace, after a magnificent manner: wherein were large and beautiful edifices. He also made a great many reservoirs, for reception of water; that there might be plenty of it ready for all uses; and those in the properest places that were afforded him there. Thus did he, as it were, contend with the nature of the place, that he might exceed its natural strength and security; which yet it self rendred it hard to be taken; by those fortifications which were made by the hands of men. Moreover, he put a large quantity of darts, and other machines of war into it; and contrived to get every thing thither that might any way contribute to its inhabitants security, under the longest siege possible.
3. Now within this palace there grew a sort of rue, (10) that deserves our wonder, on account of its largeness. For it was no way inferior to any fig tree whatsoever; either in height, or in thickness. And the report is, that it had lasted ever since the times of Herod: and would probably have lasted much longer, had it not been cut down by those Jews, who took possession of the place afterward. But still in that valley which encompasses the city on the north side there is a certain place called Baaras: which produces a root of the same name with itself. (11) Its colour is like to that of flame: and towards the evenings it sends out a certain ray like lightening. It is not easily taken by such as would do it, but recedes from their hands, nor will yield it self to be taken quietly, until either the urine of a woman, or her menstrual blood be poured upon it. Nay even then it is certain death to those that touch it, unless any one take and hang the root it self down from his hand, and so carry it away. It may also be taken another way, without danger: which is this. They dig a trench quite round about it, till the hidden part of the root be very small. They then tie a dog to it: and when the dog tries hard to follow him that tied him, this root is easily plucked up; but the dog dies immediately: as if it were instead of the man that would take the plant away. Nor after this need any one be afraid of taking it into their hands. Yet after all this pains in getting, it is only valuable on account of one virtue it hath, that if it be only brought to the sick persons, it quickly drives away those called demons, which are no other than the spirits of the wicked, that enter into men that are alive, and kill them; unless they can obtain some help against them. Here are also fountains of hot water, that flow out of this place; which have a very different taste one from the other. For some of them are bitter; and others of them are plainly sweet. Here are also many eruptions of cold waters: and this not only in the places that lie lower, and have their fountains near one another, but, what is still more wonderful, here is to be seen a certain cave hard by; whose cavity is not deep; but it is covered over by a rock that is prominent: above this rock there stand up two [hills or] breasts, as it were, but a little distant one from another; the one of which sends out a fountain that is very cold; and the other sends out one that is very hot. Which waters, when they are mingled together, compose a most pleasant bath; they are medicinal indeed for other maladies; but especially good for strengthening the nerves. This place has in it also mines of sulphur, and alum.
4. Now when Bassus had taken a full view of this place, he resolved to besiege it, by filling up the valley that lay on the east side: so he fell hard to work, and took great pains to raise his banks as soon as possible: and by that means to render the siege easy. As for the Jews that were caught in the place, they separated themselves from the strangers that were with them; and they forced those strangers, as an otherwise useless multitude, to stay in the lower part of the city, and undergo the principal dangers. While they themselves seized on the upper citadel, and held it; and this both on account of its strength, and to provide for their own safety. They also supposed they might obtain their pardon, in case they should [at last] surrender the citadel. However, they were willing to make trial in the first place, whether the hopes they had of avoiding a siege would come to any thing. With which intention they made sallies every day, and fought with those that met them. In which conflicts they were many of them slain; as they therein slew many of the Romans. But still it was the opportunities that presented themselves, which chiefly gained both sides their victories. These were gained by the Jews, when they fell upon the Romans as they were off their guard; but by the Romans when upon the others sallies against their banks, they foresaw their coming, and were upon their guard when they received them. But the conclusion of this siege did not depend upon these bickerings. But a certain surprizing accident, relating to what was done in this siege, forced the Jews to surrender the citadel. There was a certain young man among the besieged, of great boldness, and very active of his hand. His name was Eleazar. He greatly signalized himself in those sallies, and encouraged the Jews to go out in great numbers, in order to hinder the raising of the banks: and did the Romans a vast deal of mischief when they came to fighting. He so managed matters, that those who sallied out, made their attacks easily, and returned back without danger; and this by still bringing up the rear himself. Now it happened that on a certain time, when the fight was over, and both sides were parted, and retired home, he, in way of contempt of the enemy, and thinking that none of them would begin the fight again at that time, staid without the gates, and talked with those that were upon the wall. And his mind was wholly intent upon what they said. Now a certain person, belonging to the Roman camp, whose lame was Rufus, by birth an Egyptian, ran upon him suddenly, when no body expected such a thing, and carried him off, with his armour it self: while in the mean time those that saw it from the wall were under such an amazement, that Rufus prevented their assistance, and carried Eleazar to the Roman camp. So the general of the Romans ordered, that he should be taken up naked, set before the city to be seen, and sorely whipped before their eyes. Upon this sad accident that befel the young man, the Jews were terribly confounded; and the city, with one voice, sorely lamented him: and the mourning proved greater than could well be supposed upon the calamity of a single person. When Bassus perceived that, he began to think of using a stratagem against the enemy: and was desirous to aggravate their grief, in order to prevail with them to surrender the city, for the preservation of that man. Nor did he fail of his hope. For he commanded them to set up a cross, as if he were just going to hang Eleazar upon it immediately. The sight of this occasioned a sore grief among those that were in the citadel: and they groaned vehemently; and cried out, that they could not bear to see him thus destroyed. Whereupon Eleazar besought them not to disregard him, now he was going to suffer a most miserable death; and exhorted them to save themselves, by yielding to the Roman power, and good fortune: since all other people were now conquered by them. These men were greatly moved with what he said: there being also many within the city that interceded for him, because he was of an eminent and very numerous family. So they now yielded to their passion of commiseration, contrary to their usual custom. Accordingly they sent out immediately certain messengers, and treated with the Romans, in order to a surrender of the citadel to them: and desired that they might be permitted to go away, and take Eleazar along with them. Then did the Romans, and their general, accept of these terms. While the multitude of strangers that were in the lower part of the city, hearing of the agreement that was made by the Jews for themselves alone, were resolved to fly away privately in the night time. But as soon as they had opened their gates, those that had come to terms with Bassus, told him of it. Whether it were that they envied the others deliverance: or whether it were done out of fear, lest an occasion should be taken against them upon their escape, is uncertain. The most courageous therefore of those men that went out prevented the enemy, and got away, and fled for it. But for those men that were caught within they were slain, to the number of one thousand seven hundred: as were the women and the children made slaves. But as Bassus thought he must perform the convenant he had made with those that had surrendred the citadel, he let them go, and restored Eleazar to them.
5. When Bassus had settled these affairs, he marched hastily to the forest10 of Jarden, as it is called. For he had heard that a great many of those that had fled from Jerusalem and Macherus formerly, were there gotten together. When he was therefore come to the place, and understood that the former news was no mistake; he, in the first place, surrounded the whole place with his horsemen: that such of the Jews as had boldness enough to try to break through, might have no way possible for escaping, by reason of the situation of these horsemen. And for the footmen, he ordered them to cut down the trees that were in the wood whither they were fled. So the Jews were under a necessity of performing some glorious exploit, and of greatly exposing themselves in a battle; since they might perhaps thereby escape. So they made a general attack: and with a great shout fell upon those that surrounded them. Who received them with great courage. And so while the one side fought desperately, and the others would not yield, the fight was prolonged on that account. But the event of the battle did not answer the expectation of the assailants. For so it happened, that no more than twelve fell on the Roman side, with a few that were wounded. But not one of the Jews escaped out of this battle; but they were all killed; being in the whole not fewer in number than three thousand: together with Judas the son of Jairus their general: concerning whom we have before spoken,11 that he had been a captain of a certain band at the siege of Jerusalem, and by going down into a certain vault under ground, had privately made his escape.
6. About the same time it was that Cæsar sent a letter to Bassus, and to Liberius Maximus, who was the procurator [of Judea], and gave order that all Judea should be exposed to sale. (12) For he did not found any city there, but reserved the country for himself. However, he assigned a place for eight hundred men only, whom he had dismissed from his army, which he gave them for their habitation. It is called Emmaus (13) and is distant from Jerusalem threescore furlongs:12 he also laid a tribute upon the Jews wheresoever they were, and enjoined every one of them to bring two drachmæ13 every year into the capitol, as they used to pay the same to the temple at Jerusalem. And this was the state of the Jewish affairs at this time.
Concerning the calamity that befel Antiochus King of Commagene. As also concerning the Alans; and what great mischiefs they did to the Medes, and Armenians.
1. And now, in the fourth year of the reign of Vespasian [A.D. 72], it came to pass, that Antiochus, the King of Commagene, with all his family, fell into very great calamities. The occasion was this: Cesennius Petus,14 who was president of Syria at this time, whether it were done out of regard to truth, or whether out of hatred to Antiochus; (for which was the real motive, was never thoroughly discovered;) sent an epistle to Cæsar, and therein told him, that “Antiochus, with his son Epiphanes, had resolved to rebel against the Romans; and had made a league with the King of Parthia to that purpose. That it was therefore fit to prevent them; lest they prevent us, and begin such a war as may cause a general disturbance in the Roman Empire.” Now Cæsar was disposed to take some care about the matter, since this discovery was made. For the neighbourhood of the kingdoms made this affair worthy of greater regard. For Samosata, the capital of Commagene, lies upon Euphrates: and upon any such design could afford an easy passage over it to the Parthians: and could also afford them a secure reception. Petus was accordingly believed; and had authority given him of doing what he should think proper in the case. So he set about it without delay: and fell upon Commagene, before Antiochus and his people had the least expectation of his coming. He had with him the tenth legion: as also some cohorts, and troops of horsemen. These Kings also came to his assistance: Aristobulus, King of the country called Chalcidene; and Sohemus, who was called King of Emesa. Nor was there any opposition made to his forces when they entered the kingdom. For no one of that country would so much as lift up his hand against them. When Antiochus heard this unexpected news, he could not think in the least of making war with the Romans; but determined to leave his whole kingdom in the state wherein it now was, and to retire privately, with his wife and children: as thinking thereby to demonstrate himself to the Romans to be innocent as to the accusation laid against him. So he went away from that city, as far as an hundred and twenty furlongs, into a plain; and there pitched his tents.
2. Petus then sent some of his men to seize upon Samosata; and by their means took possession of that city: while he went himself to attack Antiochus, with the rest of his army. However the King was not prevailed upon by the distress he was in to do any thing in the way of war against the Romans: but bemoaned his own hard fate; and endured with patience what he was not able to prevent. But his sons, who were young, and unexperienced in war, but of strong bodies, were not easily induced to bear this calamity without fighting. Epiphanes therefore, and Callinicus, betook themselves to military force. And as the battle was a sore one, and lasted all the day long, they shewed their own valour in a remarkable manner: and nothing but the approach of night put a period thereto; and that without any diminution of their forces. Yet would not Antiochus, upon this conclusion of the fight, continue there by any means; but took his wife, and his daughters, and fled away with them to Cilicia: and by so doing quite discouraged the minds of his own soldiers. Accordingly they revolted, and went over to the Romans, out of the despair they were in of his keeping the kingdom: and his case was looked upon by all as quite desperate. It was therefore necessary that Epiphanes, and his soldiers should get clear of their enemies before they became entirely destitute of any confederates. Nor were there any more than ten horsemen with him; who passed with him over Euphrates. Whence they went undisturbed to Vologeses, the King of Parthia. Where they were not disregarded as fugitives; but had the same respect paid them, as if they had retained their ancient prosperity.
3. Now when Antiochus was come to Tarsus, in Cilicia, Petus ordered a centurion to go to him; and send him in bonds to Rome. However, Vespasian could not endure to have a king brought to him in that manner: but thought it fit rather to have a regard to the ancient friendship that had been between them, than to preserve an inexorable anger upon pretence of this war. Accordingly he gave orders that they should take off his bonds, while he was still upon the road; and that he should not come to Rome, but should now go and live at Lacedemon. He also gave him large revenues; that he might not only live in plenty, but like a king also. When Epiphanes, who before was in great fear for his father, was informed of this, their minds were freed from that great, and almost incurable concern they had been under. He also hoped that Cæsar would be reconciled to them, upon the intercession of Vologeses. For although he lived in plenty, he knew not how to bear living out of the Roman empire. So Cæsar gave him leave, after an obliging manner; and he came to Rome: and as his father came quickly to him from Lacedemon, he had all sorts of respect paid him there, and there he remained.
4. Now there was a nation of the Alans, which we have formerly mentioned somewhere,15 as being Scythians, and inhabiting at the lake Meotis. This nation, about this time, laid a design of falling upon Media, and the parts beyond it; in order to plunder them. With which intention they treated with the King of Hyrcania. For he was master of that passage which King Alexander [the Great] shut up with iron gates. This king gave them leave to come through them. So they came in great multitudes, and fell upon the Medes unexpectedly, and plundered their country: which they found full of people, and replenished with abundance of cattle. While no body durst make any resistance against them. For Pacorus, the King of the country, had fled away for fear, into places where they could not easily come at him; and had yielded up every thing he had to them; and had only saved his wife, and his concubines from them, and that with difficulty also, after they had been made captives, by giving them an hundred talents for their ransom. These Alans therefore plundered the country, without opposition; and with great ease: and proceeded as far as Armenia: laying all waste before them. Now Tiridates was King of that country; who met them, and fought them; but had like to have been taken alive in the battle;. Fr a certain man threw a net over him, from a great distance; and had soon drawn him to him, unless he had immediately cut the cord with his sword, and ran away, and prevented it. So the Alans being still more provoked by this sight; laid waste the country, and drove a great multitude of the men, and a great quantity of the other prey they had gotten out of both kingdoms along with them, and then retreated back to their own country.
Concerning Masada, and those Sicarii who kept it: And how Silva betook himself to form the siege of that citadel. Eleazar’s speeches to the besieged.
1. When Bassus was dead in Judea, Flavius Silva succeeded him, as procurator there [about A.D. 73]. Who when he saw that all the rest of the country was subdued in this war, and that there was but one only strong hold that was still in rebellion, he got all his army together, that lay in different places, and made an expedition against it. This fortress was called Masada. It was one Eleazar, a potent man, and the commander of these Sicarii that had seized upon it. He was a descendant from that Judas, who had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formerly related,16 not to submit to the taxation, when Cyrenius was sent into Judea to make one. For then it was that the Sicarii got together against those that were willing to submit to the Romans, and treated them, in all respects, as if they had been their enemies: both by plundering them of what they had; by driving away their cattle; and by setting fire to their houses. For they said, that they differed not at all from foreigners, by betraying, in so cowardly a manner, that freedom which Jews thought worthy to be contended for to the utmost: and by owning that they preferred slavery under the Romans, before such a contention. Now this was in reality no better than a pretence, and a cloak for the barbarity which was made use of by them, and to colour over their own avarice: which they afterward made evident by their own actions. For those that were partners with them in their rebellion, joined also with them in the war against the Romans: and went farther lengths with them in their impudent undertakings against them. And when they were again convicted of dissembling in such their pretences, they still more abused those that justly reproached them for their wickedness. And indeed that was a time most fertile in all manner of wicked practices: insomuch that no kind of evil deeds were then left undone. Nor could any one so much as devise any bad thing that was new: so deeply were they all infected, and strove with one another in their single capacity, and in their communities, who should run the greatest lengths in impiety towards God, and in unjust actions towards their neighbours. The men of power oppressing the multitude: and the multitude earnestly labouring to destroy the men of power. The one part were desirous of tyrannizing over others; and the rest of offering violence to others; and of plundering such as were richer than themselves. They were the Sicarii who first began these transgressions; and first became barbarous towards those allied to them; and left no words of reproach unsaid, and no works of perdition untried; in order to destroy those whom their contrivances affected. Yet did John demonstrate by his actions, that these Sicarii were more moderate than he was himself. For he not only slew all such as gave him good counsel to do what was right; but treated them worst of all; as the most bitter enemies that he had among all the citizens. Nay he filled his entire country with ten thousand instances of wickedness: such as a man who was already hardened sufficiently in his impiety towards God, would naturally do. For the food was unlawful that was set upon his table; and he rejected those purifications that the law of his country had ordained. So that it was no longer a wonder, if he who was so mad in his impiety towards God, did not observe any rules of gentleness, and common affection towards men. Again therefore, what mischief was there which Simon, the son of Gioras, did not do? Or what kind of abuses did he abstain from as to those very free men who had set him up for a tyrant? What friendship or kindred were there that did not make him more bold in his daily murders? For they looked upon the doing of mischief to strangers only, as a work beneath their courage: but thought their barbarity towards their nearest relations would be a glorious demonstration thereof. The Idumeans also strove with these men, who should be guilty of the greatest madness. For they [all], vile wretches as they were, cut the throats of the High-
2. For now it was that the Roman general came, and led his army against Eleazar, and those Sicarii who held the fortress Masada17 together with him. And for the whole country adjoining he presently gained it, and put garrisons into the most proper places of it. He also built a wall quite round the intire fortress; that none of the besieged might easily escape. He also set his men to guard the several parts of it. He also pitched his camp in such an agreeable place as he had chosen for the siege; and at which place the rock belonging to the fortress did make the nearest approach to the neighbouring mountain: which yet was a place of difficulty for getting plenty of provisions. For it was not only food that was to be brought from a great distance [to the army], and this with a great deal of pain to those Jews who were appointed for that purpose; but water was also to be brought to the camp: because the place afforded no fountain that was near it. When therefore Silva had ordered these affairs beforehand, he fell to besieging the place. Which siege was likely to stand in need of a great deal of skill and pains; by reason of the strength of the fortress: the nature of which I will now describe.
3. There was a rock, not small in circumference, and very high. It was encompassed with valleys of such vast depth downward, that the eye could not reach their bottoms. They were abrupt; and such as no animal could walk upon; excepting at two places of the rock where it subsides, in order to afford a passage for ascent; though not without difficulty. Now of the ways that lead to it, one is that from the lake Asphaltitis, towards sun rising: and another on the west, where the ascent is easier. The one of these ways is called the serpent; as resembling that animal in its narrowness, and its perpetual windings. For it is broken off at the prominent precipices of the rock, and returns frequently into it self, and lengthening again by little and little, hath much ado to proceed forward. And he that would walk along it must first go on one leg, and then on the other. There is also nothing but destruction in case your feet slip. For on each side there is a vastly deep chasm, and precipice; sufficient to quell the courage of every body, by the terror it infuses into the mind. When therefore a man hath gone along this way for thirty furlongs, the rest is the top of the hill; not ending at a small point; but is no other than a plain upon the highest part of the mountain. Upon this top of the hill Jonathan the High-
4. As for the furniture that was within this fortress, it was still more wonderful on account of its splendor, and long continuance. For here was laid up corn in large quantities, and such as would subsist men for a long time. Here was also wine, and oil in abundance; with all kinds of pulse, and dates heaped up together. All which Eleazar found there, when he and his Sicarii got possession of the fortress by treachery.19 These fruits were also fresh and full ripe; and no way inferior to such fruits newly laid in. Although they were little short of an hundred years (14) from the laying in these provisions [by Herod], till the place was taken by the Romans. Nay indeed when the Romans got possession of those fruits that were left, they found them not corrupted all that while. Nor should we be mistaken if we supposed, that the air was here the cause of their enduring so long. This fortress being so high, and so free from the mixture of all terrene and muddy particles of matter. There was also found here a large quantity of all sorts of weapons of war; which had been treasured up by that king; and were sufficient for ten thousand men. There was cast iron, and brass, and tin. Which shew that he had taken much pains to have all things here ready for the greatest occasions. For the report goes, how Herod thus prepared this fortress on his own account, as a refuge against two kinds of danger. The one for fear of the multitude of the Jews; lest they should depose him, and restore their former kings to the government. The other danger was greater and more terrible; which arose from Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt,20 who did not conceal her intentions, but spoke often to Antony, and desired him to cut off Herod; and intreated him to bestow the kingdom of Judea upon her. And certainly it is a great wonder that Antony did never comply with her commands in this point: as he was so miserably enslaved to his passion for her. Nor should any one have been surprized if she had been gratified in such her request. So the fear of these dangers made Herod rebuild Masada: and thereby leave it for the finishing stroke of the Romans, in this Jewish war.
5. Since therefore the Roman commander, Silva, had now built a wall on the outside, round about this whole place, as we have said already; and had thereby made a most accurate provision to prevent any one of the besieged’s running away; he undertook the siege it self: though he found but one single place that would admit of the banks he was to raise. For behind that tower which secured the road that led to the palace, and to the top of the hill, from the west, there was a certain eminency of the rock; very broad, and very prominent: but three hundred cubits beneath the highest part of Masada. It was called The white promontory. Accordingly he got upon that part of the rock, and ordered the army to bring earth. And when they fell to that work with alacrity, and abundance of them together, the bank was raised, and became solid, for two hundred cubits in height. Yet was not this bank thought sufficiently high for the use of the engines that were to be set upon it: but still another elevated work, of great stones, compacted together was raised upon that bank. This was fifty cubits both in breadth and height. The other machines that were now got ready, were like to those that had been first devised by Vespasian, and afterwards by Titus for sieges. There was also a tower made, of the height of sixty cubits; and all over plated with iron. Out of which the Romans threw darts, and stones from the engines; and soon made those that fought from the walls of the place to retire; and would not let them lift up their heads above the works. At the same time Silva ordered that great battering ram which he had made, to be brought thither; and to be set against the wall, and to make frequent batteries against it. Which, with some difficulty, brake down a part of the wall, and quite overthrew it. However, the Sicarii made haste, and presently built another wall within that, which should not be liable to the same misfortune from the machines with the other. It was made soft and yielding; and so was capable of avoiding the terrible blows that affected the other. It was framed after the following manner: they laid together great beams of wood, lengthways; one close to the end of another; and the same way in which they were cut. There were two of these rows parallel to one another; and laid at such a distance from each other, as the breadth of the wall required; and earth was put into the space between those rows. Now that the earth might not fall away upon the elevation of this bank to a greater height, they farther laid other beams over cross them; and thereby bound those beams together that lay lengthways. This work of theirs was like a real edifice. And when the machines were applied, the blows were weakened by its yielding: and as the materials by such concussion were shaken closer together, the pile by that means became firmer than before. When Silva saw this, he thought it best to endeavour the taking of this wall by setting fire to it. So he gave order that the soldiers should throw a great number of burning torches upon it. Accordingly, as it was chiefly made of wood, it soon took fire: and when it was once set on fire, its hollowness made that fire spread to a mighty flame. Now at the very beginning of this fire, a north wind that then blew proved terrible to the Romans. For by bringing the flame downward, it drove it upon them: and they were almost in despair of success: as fearing their machines would be burnt. But after this, on a sudden, the wind changed into the south: as if it were done by divine providence: and blew strongly the contrary way, and carried the flame, and drove it against the wall: which was now on fire through its intire thickness. So the Romans, having now assistance from God, returned to their camp with joy; and resolved to attack their enemies the very next day. On which occasion they set their watch more carefully that night, lest any of the Jews should run away from them, without being discovered.
6. However, neither did Eleazar once think of flying away; nor would he permit any one else to do so. But when he saw their wall burned down by the fire; and could devise no other way of escaping, or room for their farther courage; and setting before their eyes what the Romans would do to them, their children, and their wives, if they got them into their power; he consulted about having them all slain. Now as he judged this to be the best thing they could do in their present circumstances, he gathered the most courageous of his companions together, and encouraged them to take that course: by a speech which he made to them, in the manner following: (15) “Since we long ago, my generous friends, resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God himself, who alone is the true and just lord of mankind; the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice. And let us not at this time bring a reproach upon our selves for self contradiction; while we formerly would not undergo slavery, though it were then without danger; but must now, together with slavery, chuse such punishments also as are intolerable. I mean this upon the supposition that the Romans once reduce us under their power while we are alive. We were the very first that revolted from them; and we are the last that fight against them. And I cannot but esteem it as a favour that God hath granted us, that ’tis still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom. Which hath not been the case of others, who were conquered unexpectedly. ’Tis very plain that we shall be taken within a days time: but ’tis still an eligible thing to die, after a glorious manner, together with our dearest friends. This is what our enemies themselves cannot by any means hinder: although they be very desirous to take us alive. Nor can we propose to our selves any more to fight them, and beat them. It had been proper indeed for us to have conjectured at the purpose of God much sooner; and at the very first; when we were so desirous of defending our liberty; and when we received such sore treatment from one another, and worse treatment from our enemies: and to have been sensible that the same God, who had of old took the Jewish nation into his favour, had now condemned them to destruction. For had he either continued favourable, or been but in a lesser degree displeased with us, he had not overlooked the destruction of so many men, or delivered his most holy city to be burnt; and demolished by our enemies. To be sure we weakly hoped to have preserved our selves, and our selves alone still in a state of freedom; as if we had been guilty of no sins our selves against God; nor been partners with those of others. We also taught other men to preserve their liberty. Wherefore consider how God hath convinced us, that our hopes were in vain, by bringing such distress upon us, in the desperate state we are now in, and which is beyond all our expectations. For the nature of this fortress, which was in it self unconquerable, hath not proved a means of our deliverance. And even while we have still great abundance of food, and a great quantity of arms, and other necessaries, more than we want, we are openly deprived by God himself of all hope of deliverance. For that fire which was driven upon our enemies, did not, of its own accord, turn back upon the wall which we had built. This was the effect of God’s anger against us, for our manifold sins, which we have been guilty of in a most insolent and extravagant manner, with regard to our own countrymen. The punishments of which let us not receive from the Romans, but from God himself, as executed by our own hands. For these will be more moderate than the other. Let our wives die before they are abused; and our children before they have tasted of slavery. And after we have slain them, let us bestow that glorious benefit upon one another mutually; and preserve our selves in freedom, as an excellent funeral monument for us. But first let us destroy our money, and the fortress by fire. For I am well assured that this will be a great grief to the Romans; that they shall not be able to seize upon our bodies, and shall fall of our wealth also. And let us spare nothing but our provisions. For they will be a testimonial, when we are dead, that we were not subdued for want of necessaries: but that, according to our original resolution, we have preferred death before slavery.”
7. This was Eleazar’s speech to them. Yet did not the opinions of all the auditors acquiesce therein: but although some of them were very zealous to put his advice in practice, and were in a manner filled with pleasure at it, and thought death to be a good thing; yet had those that were most effeminate a commiseration for their wives and families. And when these men were especially moved by the prospect of their own certain death, they looked wistfully at one another; and by the tears that were in their eyes declared their dissent from his opinion. When Eleazar saw these people in such fear; and that their souls were dejected at so prodigious a proposal; he was afraid lest perhaps these effeminate persons should, by their lamentations and tears, infeeble those that heard what he had said courageously. So he did not leave off exhorting them; but stirred up himself, and recollecting proper arguments for raising their courage, he undertook to speak more briskly and fully to them, and that concerning the immortality of the soul. So he made a lamentable groan; and fixing his eyes attently on those that wept, he spake thus: “Truly I was greatly mistaken, when I thought to be assisting to brave men, who struggled hard for their liberty, and to such as were resolved either to live with honour, or else to die. But I find that you are such people as are no better than others, either in virtue, or in courage: and are afraid of dying; though you be delivered thereby from the greatest miseries. While you ought to make no delay in this matter, nor to await any one to give you good advice. For the laws of our country, and of God himself, have from ancient times, and as soon as ever we could use our reason, continually taught us; and our forefathers have corroborated the same doctrine by their actions, and by their bravery of mind; that it is life that is a calamity to men, and not death. For this last affords our souls their liberty; and sends them by a removal into their own place of purity; where they are to be insensible of all sorts of misery. For while souls are tied down to a mortal body, they are partakers of its miseries: and really, to speak the truth, they are themselves dead. For the union of what is divine, to what is mortal, is disagreeable. ’Tis true, the power of the soul is great, even when it is imprisoned in a mortal body. For by moving it, after a way that is invisible, it makes the body a sensible instrument; and causes it to advance farther in its actions than mortal nature could otherwise do. However, when it is freed from that weight which draws it down to the earth, and is connected with it, it obtains its own proper place, and does then become a partaker of that blessed power, and those abilities which are then every way incapable of being hindred in their operations. It continues invisible indeed to the eyes of men, as does God himself. For certainly it is not it self seen, while it is in the body. For it is there after an invisible manner: and when it is freed from it, it is still not seen. It is this soul which hath one nature; and that an incorruptible one also. But yet it is the cause of the change that is made in the body. For whatsoever it be which the soul touches, that lives, and flourishes. And from whatsoever it is removed, that withers away, and dies. Such a degree is there in it of immortality. Let me produce the state of sleep, as a most evident demonstration of the truth of what I say. Wherein souls, when the body does not distract them, have the sweetest rest depending on themselves; and conversing with God, by their alliance to him. They then go every where; and foretell many futurities beforehand. And why are we afraid of death, while we are pleased with the rest that we have in sleep? And how absurd a thing is it to pursue after liberty while we are alive; and yet to envy it to ourselves where it will be eternal? We therefore who have been brought up in a discipline of our own, ought to become an example to others of our readiness to die. Yet if we do stand in need of foreigners to support us in this matter, let us regard those Indians who profess the exercise of philosophy. For these good men do but unwillingly undergo the time of life; and look upon it as a necessary servitude; and make haste to let their souls loose from their bodies. Nay when no misfortune presses them to it, nor drives them upon it, these have such a desire of a life of immortality, that they tell other men beforehand that they are about to depart. And no body hinders them. But every one thinks them happy men, and gives them letters to be carried to their familiar friends [that are dead]. So firmly and certainly do they believe that souls converse with one another [in the other world]. So when these men have heard all such commands that were to be given them, they deliver their body to the fire: and in order to their getting their soul a separation from the body in the greatest purity, they die in the midst of hymns of commendations made to them. For their dearest friends conduct them to their death, more readily than do any of the rest of mankind conduct their fellow-
How the people that were in the fortress were prevailed on by the words of Eleazar, two women and five children only excepted; and all submitted to be killed by one another.
1. Now as Eleazar was proceeding on in his exhortation, they all cut him off short, and made haste to do the work, as full of an unconquerable ardor of mind, and moved with a demoniacal fury. So they went their ways, as one still endeavouring to be before another; and as thinking that this eagerness would be a demonstration of their courage, and good conduct; if they could avoid appearing in the last class. So great was the zeal they were in to slay their wives, and children, and themselves also. Nor indeed, when they came to the work itself, did their courage fail them, as one might imagine it would have done: but they then held fast the same resolution, without wavering, which they had upon the hearing of Eleazar’s speech, while yet every one of them still retained the natural passion of love to themselves, and their families: because the reasoning they went upon appeared to them to be very just, even with regard to those that were dearest to them. For the husbands tenderly embraced their wives, and took their children into their arms, and gave the longest parting kisses to them, with tears in their eyes. Yet at the same time did they compleat what they had resolved on; as if they had been executed by the hands of strangers. And they had nothing else for their comfort, but the necessity they were in of doing this execution, to avoid that prospect they had of the miseries they were to suffer from their enemies. Nor was there at length any one of these men found that scrupled to act their part in this terrible execution: but every one of them dispatched his dearest relations. Miserable men indeed were they! whose distress forced them to slay their own wives, and children, with their own hands, as the lightest of those evils that were before them. So they being not able to bear the grief they were under for what they had done any longer; and esteeming it an injury to those they had slain to live even the shortest space of time after them, they presently laid all they had upon an heap, and set fire to it. They then chose ten men by lot, out of them; to slay all the rest. Every one of whom laid himself down by his wife, and children, on the ground, and threw his arms about them, and they offered their necks to the stroke of those who by lot executed that melancholy office. And when these ten had, without fear, slain them all, they made the same rule for casting lots for themselves; that he whose lot it was should first kill the other nine; and after all should kill himself. Accordingly all these had courage sufficient to be no way behind one another in doing or suffering. So, for a conclusion, the nine offered their necks to the executioner; and he who was the last of all took a view of all the other bodies; lest perchance some or other among so many that were slain should want his assistance to be quite dispatched: and when he perceived that they were all slain, he set fire to the palace, and with the great force of his hand ran his sword entirely through himself, and fell down dead near to his own relations. So these people died with this intention, that they would not leave so much as one soul among them all alive to be subject to the Romans. Yet was there an ancient woman, and another who was of kin to Eleazar, and superior to most women in prudence and learning, with five children: who had concealed themselves in caverns under ground; and had carried water thither for their drink; and were hidden there when the rest were intent upon the slaughter of one another. Those others were nine hundred and sixty in number: the women, and children being withal included in that computation. This calamitous slaughter was made on the fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan] [A.D. 73].
2. Now for the Romans, they expected that they should be fought in the morning: when accordingly they put on their armour, and laid bridges of planks upon their ladders from their banks, to make an assault upon the fortress. Which they did. But saw nobody as an enemy, but a terrible solitude on every side, with a fire within the place, as well as a perfect silence. So they were at a loss to guess at what had happened. At length they made a shout, as if it had been at a blow given by the battering ram, to try whether they could bring any one out that was within. The women heard this noise, and came out of their under ground cavern; and informed the Romans what had been done, as it was done: and the second of them clearly described all both what was said, and what was done; and the manner of it. Yet did they not easily give their attention to such a desperate undertaking, and did not believe it could be as they said. They also attempted to put the fire out, and quickly cutting themselves a way through it, they came within the palace, and so met with the multitude of the slain: but could take no pleasure in the fact, though it were done to their enemies. Nor could they do other than wonder at the courage of their resolution, and the immoveable contempt of death which so great a number of them had shewn, when they went through with such an action as that was.
That many of the Sicarii fled to Alexandria also: and what dangers they were in there. On which account that temple, which had formerly been built by Onias the High-
1. When Masada was thus taken, the general left a garrison in the fortress to keep it; and he himself went away to Cesarea. For there were now no enemies left in the country: but it was all overthrown by so long a war. Yet did this war afford disturbances and dangerous disorders even in places very far remote from Judea. For still it came to pass, that many Jews were slain at Alexandria, in Egypt. For as many of the Sicarii as were able to fly thither, out of the seditious wars in Judea, were not content to have saved themselves; but must needs be undertaking to make new disturbancesl; and persuaded many of those that entertained them to assert their liberty; to esteem the Romans to be no better than themselves; and to look upon God as their only Lord and Master. But when part of the Jews of reputation opposed them, they slew some of them: and with the others they were very pressing in their exhortations, to revolt from the Romans. But when the principal men of the senate saw what madness they were come to, they thought it no longer safe for themselves to overlook them. So they got all the Jews together to an assembly, and accused the madness of the Sicarii; and demonstrated that they had been the authors of all the evils that had come upon them. They said also, that “These men, now they were run away from Judea, having no sure hope of escaping; because as soon as ever they shall be known, they will be soon destroyed by the Romans; they come hither, and fill us full of those calamities which belong to them, while we have not been partakers with them in any of their sins.” Accordingly they exhorted the multitude to have a care, lest they should be brought to destruction by their means; and to make their apology to the Romans for what had been done, by delivering these men up to them. Who being thus apprized of the greatness of the danger they were in, complied with what was proposed; and ran with great violence upon the Sicarii, and seized upon them. And indeed six hundred of them were caught immediately: but as to all those that fled into Egypt, and to the Egyptian Thebes, (17) it was not long ere they were caught also, and brought back. Whose courage, or whether we ought to call it madness, or hardiness in their opinions, every body was amazed at. For when all sorts of torments and vexations of their bodies that could be devised were made use of to them, they could not get any one of them to comply so far as to confess, or seem to confess, that Cæsar was their lord: but they preserved their own opinion, in spite of all the distress they were brought to; as if they received these torments, and the fire it self, with bodies insensible of pain, and with a soul that in a manner rejoiced under them. But what was most of all astonishing to the beholders, was the courage of the children. For not one of these children was so far overcome by these torments, as to name Cæsar for their lord. So far does the strength of the courage [of the soul] prevail over the weakness of the body.
2. Now Lupus did then govern Alexandria. Who presently sent Cæsar word of this commotion. Who having in suspicion the restless temper of the Jews for innovation, and being afraid lest they should get together again, and persuade some others to join with them, gave orders to Lupus to demolish that Jewish temple which was in the region called Onion, and was in Egypt. (18) Which was built, and had its denomination from the occasion following. Onias, the son of Simon, one of the Jewish High-
3. So Ptolemy complied with his proposals; and gave him a place one hundred and eighty furlongs distant from Memphis. (19) That Nomos was called the Nomos of Heliopolis. Where Onias built a fortress; and a temple, not like to that at Jerusalem, but such as resembled a tower. He built it of large stones, to the height of sixty cubits.27 He made the structure of the altar in imitation of that in our own country, and in like manner adorned with gifts: excepting the make of the candlestick. For he did not make a candlestick; but had a [single] lamp hammered out of a piece of gold; which illuminated the place with its rays, and which he hung by a chain of gold. But the intire temple was encompassed with a wall of burnt brick, though it had gates of stone. The King also gave him a large country for a revenue in money; that both the priests might have a plentiful provision made for them; and that God might have great abundance of what things were necessary for his worship. Yet did not Onias do this out of a sober disposition.28 But he had a mind to contend with the Jews at Jerusalem; and could not forget the indignation he had for being banished thence. Accordingly he thought, that by building this temple he should draw away a great number from them to himself. There had been also a certain ancient prediction made by [a prophet] whose name was Isaiah, about six hundred years before, that this temple should be built by a man that was a Jew in Egypt. And this is the history of the building of that temple.
4. And now Lupus, the governor of Alexandria, upon the receipt of Cæsar’s letter, came to the temple, and carried out of it some of the donations dedicated thereto, and shut up the temple itself. And as Lupus died a little afterward [about A.D. 75], Paulinus succeeded him. This man left none of those donations there: and threatened the priests severely, if they did not bring them all out. Nor did he permit any who were desirous of worshipping God there, so much as to come near the whole sacred place. But when he had shut up the gates, he made it intirely inaccessible: insomuch that there remained no longer the least footsteps of any divine worship that had been in that place. Now the duration of the time from the building of this temple till it was shut up again was three hundred and forty-
Concerning Jonathan, one of the Sicarii, that stirred up a sedition in Cyrene; and was a false accuser [of the innocent].
1. And now did the madness of the Sicarii, like a disease, reach as far as the cities of Cyrene. For one Jonathan, a vile person, and by trade a weaver, came thither; and prevailed with no small number of the poorer sort to give ear to him. He also led them into the desert: upon promising them, that he would shew them signs, and apparitions. And as for the other Jews of Cyrene, he concealed his knavery from them; and put tricks upon them. But those of the greatest dignity among them informed Catullus, the governour of the Libyan Pentapolis, of his march into the desert, and of the preparations he had made for it. So he sent out after him both horsemen and footmen, and easily overcame them: because they were unarmed men. Of these many were slain in the fight; but some were taken alive, and brought to Catullus. As for Jonathan, the head of this plot, he fled away at that time: but upon a great and very diligent search, which was made all the country over for him, he was at last taken. And when he was brought to Catullus, he devised a way whereby he both escaped punishment himself, and afforded an occasion to Catullus of doing much mischief. For he falsely accused the richest men among the Jews; and said, that they had put him upon what he did.
2. Now Catullus easily admitted of these his calumnies; and aggravated matters greatly; and made tragical exclamations: that he might also be supposed to have had an hand in the finishing of the Jewish war. But what was still harder, he did not only give a too easy belief to his stories; but he taught the Sicarii to accuse men falsely. He bid this Jonathan therefore to name one Alexander, a Jew (with whom he had formerly had a quarrel, and openly professed that he hated him). He also got him to name his wife Bernice, as concerned with him. These two Catullus ordered to be slain in the first place. Nay after them he caused all the rich and wealthy Jews to be slain: being no fewer in all than three thousand. This he thought he might do safely; because he confiscated their effects, and added them to Cæsar’s revenues.
3. Nay indeed, lest any Jews that lived elsewhere should convict him of this villainy, he extended his false accusations farther; and persuaded Jonathan, and certain others that were caught with him, to bring an accusation of attempts for innovation against the Jews that were of the best character, both at Alexandria, and at Rome. One of these, against whom this treacherous accusation was laid, was Josephus, the writer of these books. However this plot, thus contrived by Catullus, did not succeed according to his hopes For though he came himself to Rome, and brought Jonathan and his companions along with him in bonds; and thought he should have had no farther inquisition made as to those lies that were forged under his government, or by his means; yet did Vespasian suspect the matter, and made an enquiry how far it was true. And when he understood that the accusation laid against the Jews was an unjust one, he cleared them of the crimes charged upon them; and this on account of Titus’s concern about the matter: and brought a deserved punishment upon Jonathan. For he was first tormented, and then burnt alive.
4. But as to Catullus, the Emperors were so gentle to him, that he underwent no severe condemnation at this time. Yet was it not long before he fell into a complicated and almost incurable distemper; and died miserably. He was not only afflicted in body; but the distemper in his mind was more heavy upon him than the other. For he was terribly disturbed, and continually cried out, that “He saw the ghosts of those whom he had slain standing before him.” Whereupon he was not able to contain himself; but leaped out of his bed, as if both torments and fire were brought to him. This his distemper grew still a great deal worse and worse continually; and his very entrails were so corroded, that they fell out of his body: and in that condition he died. Thus he became as great an instance of divine providence as ever was; and demonstrated that God punishes wicked men.
5. And here we shall put an end to this our history. Wherein we formerly promised to deliver the same with all accuracy, to such as should be desirous of understanding after what manner this war of the Romans with the Jews was managed. Of which history, how good the style is, must be left to the determination of the Readers. But as for its agreement with the facts, I shall not scruple to say, and that boldly, that Truth hath been what I have alone aimed at through its intire composition.
1 See chap. 5. § 1.
2 Mount Sion.
(1) This Terentius Rufus, as Reland in part observes here, is the same person whom the Talmudists call Turnus Rufus: of whom they relate, that He ploughed up Sion as a field; and made Jerusalem become as heaps; and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Which was long before foretold by the prophet Micah, 3:12, and quoted from him in the prophecies of Jeremiah, 26:18.
3 See Eccles. 8:11.
(2) this birth-
(3) This Berytus was certainly a Roman colony: and has coins extant that witness the same: as Hudson and Spanheim inform us. See the note on Antiq. XVI.11.1.
(4) This birth-
4 I.e. their synagogue. See the note on VI.10.1.
(5) The Jews at Antioch, and Alexandria, the two principal cities in all the east, had allowed them, both by the Macedonians, and afterwards by the Romans, a governor of their own; who was exempt from the jurisdiction of the other civil governors. He was called sometimes barely Governor; sometimes Ethnarch; and [at Alexandria] Alabarch: as Dr. Hudson takes notice on this place, out of Fuller’s Miscellanies. They had the like governor or governors allowed them at Babylon, under their captivity there: as the history of Susanna implies.
(6) There is a coin still preserved of this Cesennius Petus, when he was pro-
(7) This Classicus, and Civilis, and Cerealis are names well known in Tacitus [in Hist. Book V etc.]. The two former, as moving sedition against the Romans: and the last as sent to repress them by Vespasian: just as they are here described in Josephus. Which is the case also of Fonteius Agrippa, and Rubrius Gallup in § 3. But as to the very favourable account presently given of Domitian; particularly as to his designs in this his Gallick and German expedition; it is not a little contrary to that in Suetonius, Vespas. § 7 [sic; see rather Domitian § 2]. Nor are the reasons unobvious that might occasion this great diversity. Domitian was one of Josephus’s patrons: and when he published these books of the Jewish war was very young, and had hardly begun those wicked practices, which rendered him so infamous afterward. While Suetonius seems to have been too young, and too low in life to receive any remarkable favours from him. As Domitian was certainly very lewd, and cruel, and generally hated when Suetonius wrote about him.
5 Civilis, Tacit.
(8) Since in these latter ages this sabbatick river, once so famous, which, by Josephus’s account, here ran every seventh day, and rested on six, but according to Pliny, Nat. Hist. XXXI.11, ran perpetually on six days, and rested every seventh: (though it no way appears by either of their accounts that the seventh day of this river was the Jewish seventh day or sabbath;) is quite vanished, I shall add no more about it: only see Dr. Hudson’s note. In Varenius’s Geography, I, 17, the reader will find several instances of such periodical fountains and rivers; though none of their periods were that of a just week; as of old this appears to have been.
6 Vespasian, and his two sons Titus, and Domitian.
7 Vespasian and Titus.
(9) See the representations of these Jewish vessels as they still stand on Titus’s triumphal arc at Rome, below my Description of the Temples; in Reland’s very curious book De Spoliis Templi throughout. But what things are chiefly to be noted are these: (1.) That Josephus says, the candlestick here carried in this triumph was not thoroughly like that which was used in the temple: which appears in the number of the little knops and flowers in that on the triumphal arc, not well agreeing with Moses’s description, Exod. 25:31-36. (2.) The smallness of the branches in Josephus compared with the thickness of those on that arc. (3.) That the Law or Pentateuch does not appear on that arc at all, though Josephus, an eye witness, assures us that it was carried in this procession. All which things deserve the consideration of the inquisitive reader. [Also consider in this context what Josephus writes in VI.8.3, describing some of the plunder of Titus, including candlesticks like to those that lay in the holy house. See also Arcus Titi and links therein.]
8 He is mentioned by Tacitus more than once. [For instance, in Books III and IV.]
9 See I.8.5.
(10) Spanheim observes here, that in Græcia Major, and Sicily they had rue prodigiously great, and durable; like this rue at Macherus.
(11) This strange account of the place and root Baaras, seems to have been taken from the magicians; and the root to have been made use of in the days of Josephus, in that superstitious way of casting out demons, supposed by him, to have been derived from King Solomon. Of which we have already seen he had a great opinion, Antiq. VIII.2.5. We also may hence learn the true notion Josephus had of demons, and demoniacks; exactly like that of the Jews and Christians in the New Testament, and the first four centuries. See Antiq. VI.8.2.; 11.2 and 3.
10 Or woodland. See Antiq. VII.10.2.
11 This is now wanting. However see VI.8.4.
(12) It is very remarkable that Titus did not people this now desolate country of Judea, but ordered it to be all sold. Nor indeed is it properly peopled at this day; but lies ready for its old inhabitants, the Jews, at their future restoration. See Literal Accomplishment of Prophecies, pag. 77.
(13) That the city Emmaus or Ammaus in Josephus and others, which was the place of the government of Julius Africanus, in the beginning of the third century; and which he then procured to be rebuilt; and after which rebuilding it was called Nicopolis, is entirely different from that Emmaus which is mentioned by St. Luke 24:17; see Reland’s Palæstina, Lib. II. pag. 429, and under the name Ammaus also. But he justly thinks that that in St. Luke may well be the same with his Ammaus before us. Especially since the Greek copies here usually make it 60 furlongs distant from Jerusalem; as does St. Luke: though the Latin copies say only 30. The place also allotted for these 800 soldiers, as for a Roman garrison, in this place, would most naturally be not so remote from Jerusalem, as was the other Emmaus or Nicopolis.
12 Or 30.
13 I.e. half a shekel.
14 See Chap. 3 § 4.
15 This is now wanting.
16 See II.8.1. See also Antiq. XVIII.1.1 and XVII.2.2 and War II.13.3 &c. .
17 See I.12.2, Antiq. XIV.11.7.
18 See I.12.1. and I.12.2.
19 See II.17.2.
(14) Pliny, and others confirm this strange paradox; that provisions laid up against sieges, will continue good an 100 years: as Spanheim notes upon this place. [Pliny XI.196, but only of liver.]
20 See I.19.1.
(15) The speeches in this and the next section, as introduced under the person of this Eleazar, are exceeding remarkable, and on the noblest subjects: the contempt of death, and the dignity and immortality of the soul: and that not only among the Jews, but among the Indians themselves also: and are highly worthy the perusal of all the curious. It seems as if that philosophick lady who survived, Chap. 9. § 1, 2, remembered the substance of these discourses, as spoken by Eleazar; and so Josephus clothed them in his own words. At the lowest they contain the Jewish notions on these heads, as understood then by our Josephus; and cannot but deserve a suitable regard from us.
21 See II.18.1.
22 See II.18.3.
23 See II.18.1., II.18.2., II.18.5. where those of Antioch, Sidon, and Apamia are excepted.
24 See II.20.2, where the number of the slain is but 10000.
25 These are not otherwise mentioned in Josephus. [?? See II.18.7 ff.]
(16) Reland here sets down a parallel aphorism of one of the Jewish Rabbins, we are born that we may die; and die that we may live.
26 See the note on III.8.9.
(17) Since Josephus here informs us that some of these Sicarii or Ruffians went from Alexandria (which was itself in Egypt, in a large sense) into Egypt, and Thebes, there situate; Reland well observes, from Vossius, that Egypt sometimes denotes proper or upper Egypt, as distinct from Delta, and the lower parts near Palestine. Accordingly, as he adds, those that say it never rains in Egypt, must mean the proper or upper Egypt: because it does sometimes rain in the other parts. See the note on Antiq. II.7.7, and III.1.6.
(18) Of this temple of Onias’s building in Egypt, see the Notes on Antiq. XIII.3.1. But whereas it is elsewhere, both Of the War, I.1.1., and in the Antiquities as now quoted said, that this temple was like to that at Jerusalem; and here that it was not like it, but like a tower, § 3, there is some reason to suspect the reading here: and that either the negative particle is here to be blotted out; or the word intirely added.
(19) We must observe, that Josephus here speaks of Antiochus, who profaned the temple, as now alive, when Onias had leave given them by Philometer to build his temple. Whereas it seems not to have been actually built till about 15 years afterwards. Yet because it is said in the Antiquities, that Onias went to Philometer, XII.9.7., during the life-
27 So high was Zorobabel’s temple also. See the Description of the Temples, Chap. 12.
28 See the note on Antiq. XIII.3.1. and the note on XIII.10.7. to the contrary.
29 Or 333. Rather 223. See the IVth Dissertation, § 33.